Look the Part

A winter style guide for Bozemanites. 

In Paris, haute couture rules. Seattle is still reeling from late-‘90s grunge. Hawaii has flip-flops and boardshorts. And Bozeman is the reigning king of Patagucci Cowboy Chic.

In order to look the part of a Bozeman outdoorsman or woman about town, there are some fashion basics to which one must adhere, or risk being harshly judged by everyone pretending to be super, super chill and enjoying Bozeman because it’s so, like, come as you are. Follow these simple fashion rules and you’ll fit right in.

1) Layer.
Never wear one garment when you can wear five—simplicity and pragmatism are so passé. And I’m not talking about placing a silk scarf over your turtleneck sweater—layer like you may, at any moment, find yourself on a trek through the Himalaya. Even if you’re just going to get coffee downtown (especially if you’re just going to get coffee downtown) you’re going to need a minimum of a base layer, midlayer, down sweater, windproof climbing pants, technical shell, fun (but ironic) pom hat, and cheap Kinco gloves from the hardware store. Because, um, ski patrol. Ladies, you better be sporting some sexy new merino lingerie long underwear under those yoga pants, with one of those superfluous (but super adorable) above-the-knee Patagonia down skirts covering the whole mess. The goal is to show off your ass, but be ready for anything—including an outdoor ‘50s sockhop. 

2) Try really hard to look like you’re not trying at all.
We call this look the “this pile of incredibly expensive North Face clothing was somehow laying all over the floor, so I just tossed it on before running out for my morning chai.” This is one reason it’s critical to buy cowboy boots that have been preworn—because who has the time to break in leather boots? Do you even know how long that takes? Forever. It’s well worth it to pay a premium for already worn-out boots. Which brings us to…

3) Spend as much as you can, always.
How else are we supposed to maintain Bozeman’s unique strain of passive elitism? Why buy Columbia when there’s Arc’Teryx? Why buy Carhartts when you can buy Mountain Khakis at twice the price? And if you just started to argue the merits of Carhartts (or their even dingier cousin, Dickies—ugh), you are no longer welcome in Bozeman. I hear Belgrade is nice and affordable. You’re cute, but seriously. Get out.

4) Talk about clothing as if it matters.
If you walk into a gathering and notice that your buddy about town, Bjorn, is wearing this year’s new Mountain Hardwear $600 HardOn jacket, you better ask him about it. Comment on the “colorways” and pleasant “hand feel.” And of course ask about the price—that gives him the opportunity to tell you he got it on “proform” for only $400. Everyone wins.